The State of Oklahoma is on a mission to become a Top Ten state for all Oklahomans. When we presented this concept on the campaign trail in 2018, there was deep support around this opportunity. We know that we must focus on our children and families for us to reach this goal.
The Editors··4 min read
As the City of Dublin (GA) Youth Council Mayor and a NLC Youth Leader, Darrius Knight is working to help adults and youths better understand each other. The key is communication. He also advocates for prison reform.
As American cities rebuild after the pandemic, much of the focus is on infrastructure. For Dr. Tonja Rucker, Director of Early Childhood Success at NLC’s Institute for Youth, Education and Families, that means not only physical needs like roads and bridges, but also the family structure, starting with its youngest members. As Dr. Rucker notes: “If the youngest residents are healthy and doing well, then the rest of things kind of fall into place and families get to be able to meet their needs.”
Demetrus Coonrod’s path to Chattanooga’s City Council had obstacles, including time in prison. But her personal journal also serves as a guiding path for others, showing the power of resilience, belief in oneself and education.
The Editors··9 min read
Covid arrived and, suddenly, every parent became a teacher. Savannah (GA) Mayor Van Johnson sees the positive: the ability for all of us to better support teachers. Mayor Johnson also sees the need to make up for lost time, and the importance of ensuring that early learning occurs everywhere, from classrooms to churches. That’s why his message to parents is straightforward: childhood learning is “a lifetime investment. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. It's a four-quarter game.”
As an NLC Youth Representative and a member of the Brighton (CO) Youth Commission, Giana Rocha partners with adult leaders to help youth access the tools they need to be involved and make change. One area for impact: Helping peers with mental health issues know that support is always there.
The Editors··8 min read
As part of what’s called “cradle to career,” Arlington (TX), like many communities, is working to ensure its approach to learning leads to a well-educated workforce. As Mayor Pro Tem Victoria Farrar-Myers explains, that discipline starts with early learning, as young as zero to three, and the Arlington Tomorrow Foundation.
The Editors··4 min read
Strong communities begin with strong families. For many new parents, the challenges of parenting can be daunting. As Huong Vu, Family Engagement Specialist at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Dorchester (MA), explains, the group helps parents recognize that they “should be valued as the first teacher of the child and the expert in their own life.”
Willie Lightfoot is a Rochester (NY) City Councilmember. He’s also a longtime barber. And it’s in both roles that he has made an impact on early learning. As Lightfoot explains, the time when a child waits for a haircut makes for an outstanding opportunity to read. It’s just one of the lessons one can take from Lightfoot’s chair, including his common reminder to be positive.